Environmentalism as a Surrogate Religion

Right Side News Dr. Thomas P. Sheahen

It may be “secular,” but environmentalism makes “Mother Earth” its object of special devotion.

As we reflect on Earth Day 2011 (April 22) and on passionate appeals that we support environmental initiatives almost too numerous to count, we should also reflect on a fundamental new reality.

Environmentalism has replaced religion for many of its adherents.

The ending “-ism” denotes a way of thinking, perceiving and structuring one's life. Every “ism” is based on underlying assumptions, principles and beliefs that tell its adherents what they ought to believe and do. Providing ethical guidance for its members is a major part of what an “-ism” does.